Gaming industry research and consulting firm Eilers & Krejcik recently surveyed nearly 3,000 American adults on sports betting and packaged the results in a report titled “Why Americans Do (And Don’t) Bet On Sports.”

The 58-page report is full of interesting findings that run the gamut from demographics to brand preferences as a part of a sweeping overview of who bettors are, who they aren’t, what they bet on and how they interact with sports betting operators.

In a press release, Chris Grove of Eilers & Krejcik said this:

“For all of the hype surrounding the spread of regulated sportsbooks, there’s still a massive amount of ambiguity around how Americans will actually interact with legal sports betting. Our latest survey provides an additional tool for anticipating how consumers are likely to respond to the rapid expansion of state-sanctioned betting on sports.”

Five Key Survey Findings

Below are five particularly interesting findings from the survey. Some are surprising and others confirm existing beliefs, but we should note we have not spoiled every surprise found within. Anyone involved in the industry should consider getting a copy of the full report as it is full of actionable information.

1. Don’t Underestimate Esports

Nearly one-third (27%) of mainstream bettors (defined as Americans who have placed at least one real money wager on sports within the last 12 months) wager on esports.

This is likely surprising to anyone not purposely making an effort to keep up to date on esports as there is a clear divide in coverage between traditional sports betting websites and esports-specific websites.

Another interesting finding related to esports: the average esport wager tends to be larger than the average on nearly all other pro and college sport. Additionally, Eilers & Krejcik found the average amount wagered on esports events is $310.

2. It’s Not All Mobile Yet

Desktop and laptop computers still rule the day in online betting. Eilers & Krejcik found that more than half (59%) of mainstream bettors still use a computer or laptop as their primary online betting device while just under a third (32%) of mainstream bettors use a mobile phone as their primary online wagering device. Just 6% of mainstream bettors say a tablet is their primary method of placing wagers online.

Mobile betting is massively convenient of course, but the computer isn’t dead yet. Although computers provide a better viewing experience, we have to wonder if some of their staying power is related to bettors who still rely on offshore betting websites in states that have not yet legalized online betting.

3. No Surprise: Betting Increases Viewership

The Eilers & Krejcik study further confirmed the established belief that having a little skin in the game makes fans more likely to watch games and to watch games for longer.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of mainstream bettors report placing a wager will result in them watching an entire game. Nearly half (49%) report they watch more of an event than normally and 59% report they check scores more often with a bet on the line.

Interestingly, just 19% of mainstream bettors consider placing in-game wagers while watching events on a video screen.

These findings are right in alignment with a different survey recently conducted by the American Gaming Association among 11,001 American adults.

The AGA survey found 75% of bettors say they are more likely to watch a game they have bet on, 28% say they are more likely to attend a game they have bet on and 51% say they are more likely to watch pre-game shows and commentary if they have a wager on a game.

4. Brand Preferences Vary Dramatically with Experience

One of the most interesting findings from the survey shows a strong link between recent betting experience and brand preferences.

For this part of the survey, Eilers & Krejcik tested six potential brand categories to see which would resonate the most with bettors.

  • Casino brand names such as Caesars and MGM
  • Sports organization brand names such as NFL and NBA
  • Media brand names such as ESPN and NBC
  • Fantasy sports brand names such as FanDuel and DraftKings
  • A state lottery brand
  • Some other brand

The top picks among mainstream bettors were casino and sports organization brands.

Engaged bettors (the most frequent current bettors) chose casino, sports organization and fantasy sports brands as their top picks.

Meanwhile, interested non-bettors (people who do not bet now but are open to it) chose the state lottery over every other potential brand by a wide margin. Fantasy sports brands polled the worst among this group, selected just 11% of the time.

5. Mainstream Bettors Are Satisfied with Their Current Betting Methods

Another surprising finding from the survey showed mainstream bettors are highly satisfied with their current betting methods. Operators and policymakers alike cannot assume bettors will flock to state-sanctioned betting options just because those options are licensed.

Mainstream bettors reported they are either extremely satisfied (45%) or somewhat satisfied (42%) with their current betting methods. Just a small fraction reported being somewhat dissatisfied (2%) or extremely dissatisfied (1%) with their current betting methods.

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